Camby A Smart Move By Rockets


HANG TIME, Texas — It’s quite possible the Rockets won’t trade Omer Asik before the season opens, meaning that newly signed Marcus Camby could join a rather crowded stable of centers.

Dwight Howard, you might have heard, has moved to Houston. Asik is coming off a season in which he put up a double-double average, and Greg Smith has come out of the NBA D-League to show his mettle in the middle.

Therefore, it’s possible that, barring a significant injury to someone else, the 39-year-old Camby could wind up seeing less time on the court next season than when he played an average of just 10 minutes in 24 games a year ago with the Knicks.

Yet it is a solid and smart move nonetheless for a Rockets team that is clearly moving into another stage. Gone are the days when general manager Daryl Morey practically scoured junior high playgrounds for young talent to fill out a roster that he was constantly turning over.

The Rockets have jumped squarely into the Western Conference playoff dogfight and the importance now is in filling up the vacant spots with tested veterans who can play and lead.

For all the hullaballoo that surrounded his arrival, there is still a big question about Howard. Not concerning his physical skills or athletic talents, but his ability to be a leader on the court and a stabilizing force in the locker room. There will remain the close scrutiny of his boyish (clownish?) behavior until Howard shows that he can be a professional in every way on every night that he pulls on his jersey.

While there was much noise about the Rockets getting Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon to sign on officially with the franchise to work as a tutor with the big men, the greatest Rocket ever will still live most of the year overseas in Amman, Jordan, and have his biggest effect on Howard during offseason workouts. Olajuwon will not be on the practice floor or in the locker room every day and each night of the long season to give lessons in how a franchise player comports himself.

That’s where Camby fits in: As a veteran entering his 18th season, as a well-regarded teammate who can be there in a pinch in certain games situations, but more important to be there on a daily basis to lead by example.

That role was played for two-plus seasons in Houston by the venerable Dikembe Mutombo at the end of this career. He stepped into the brink on plenty of occasions for the often-injured Yao Ming, but his greatest contribution was simply with his presence, which commanded respect.

That’s not to suggest that Howard will follow Camby up and down the court like a young pup. But even if he rarely plays, it never hurts to have an old dog around who can teach a few tricks — and lead by example.


  1. is it possible to trade omer asik for jeff green?

  2. Joe says:

    They def need a POWER FORWARD!!!

  3. ac says:

    I don’t know if I see this as a good move as much as just a move with very little risk on Houston’s part. Veteran’s minimum is significantly better than my Knicks who, as much as I love them, consistently overpay players regardless of who the GM is. Still can’t believe we gave Camby 3 yrs/9million last year. I think we gave Steve Novak even more. LOL.

  4. Kimmy says:

    I agree that having Camby should have a positive impact on Dwight Howard and company Maybe like how D. Fisher is w Kevin Durant and crew? I think James Harden is humble enough. Lin Sanity has no choice but to be humble. Dwight seems spoiled and seems like he wants to be catered to. Let’s just hope in combination he matured, he settles in, and just simply wants to play the greatest basketball he has ever played. I can’t wait to watch the Houston games!

  5. richard.d says:

    they should get tyler hanbrough what we need is someone who has energy on the court not on the bench or in the locker room..pffft!!! cmon H TOWN BABY!!! lets get some energy guy and role players out there.

  6. lee says:

    asik will be gone the will bring in a stretch 4 and run this team right so the can win games there pg 2 gaurd and sf like to drive plus howard sorry the need a stretch 4 like ryan anderson would be a great move for this team

    • bball247 says:

      I feel you Kebo,

      Do some people watch basketball? Parsons, Harden, & Garcia are three point threats and have an all around game. Do people really question any of these guys ability to stroke it. Check the stats!!! Rockets may trade Asik and hopefully Lin (who is a backup not a staring point guard). They need a two or three who is a defensive minded beast and whose focus is to defend on and off ball as well as rebound.

  7. J says:

    should have signed a better PF or a 3 point bomber

  8. B Radd says:

    Jennings would be a good addition.

  9. Abdulll says:

    Still need some shooters though!!! Come on Morey. Htown baby!!

    • kebo says:

      Need Shooters? Harden, Parsons, Garcia, Canaan, Brooks and hopefully Lin will step up..all are good shooters

  10. Eaham says:

    Thw rockets will have fresh Centers on the court at all time, Can’t teach size and camby is a vocal veteran who will have a positive impact in the lockeroom and hopefully the young centers, even dwight.

  11. LoveThisGame says:

    I figured Omer Asik will be gone in Sep…